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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

This 'N' That

Brrrr-RR!  It's gettin' cold tonight!  We've had really mild weather for QUITE some time now; matter of fact, I sat cross-legged on the deck yesterday in the sun for a little while.  But, tonight, the mercury is down to 2 degrees, and there's a stiff wind out there that bit at my face when I closed up tonight.  

Once again, Turkey Durk was outside, melting his breast into a snowbank.  It's really amazing how small, relatively-speaking, turkeys are when all their feathers are laying down and their head is tucked under a wing!  I didn't have much trouble getting him inside tonight, though.  I picked him up again, but when he started fussing I just clamped my arms tighter and he settled down.  I sure do have a sore muscle from last night, though!  I remember that I was really straining in order to not drop him when he was beating his wings . . . that must have been it.  Instead of chipping away at the hard pack that is the snow on the large deck, I spent my shoveling time today starting on the path from the front door out.  There, the snow is completely granular & light and I went at it s-l-o-w-l-y.

I sure didn't have "It" today, though.  I finally decided to stop resisting and made myself a big bowl of popcorn for lunch and took it upstairs to eat while I watched a movie.  Such decadence in the middle of the day!  I went up about 1:30 / 1:45 and intended to be back at my day just after 3:00.  Yeah, well, I woke up just after 5:00!!!  Not even a good movie can keep me interested enough to not fall asleep lately, it seems.  Tom was out yesterday, though, and we had a Big Talk which, I know, left us both exhausted.  I think it drained us, emotionally, and that transferred to physical exhaustion.  More on that soon, one of these days.  It has to be "the right time" to write about it, you know?

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Chickens.  Bantams, to be specific.  Bantams are a miniature-sized chicken.  About 1/2 - 1/4 the size of a regular, heavy breed.  They lay small eggs and are, to generalize, very broody (i.e. they're good about sitting on eggs in order to hatch chicks).  Well, last summer, my dad had a broody bantam hatch out 5 (or 6?) itty-bitty babies.  He asked me if I'd like any of the chicks once they were old enough to leave their mama:  he had enough.  Well, yes, I did want to try hatching some eggs this spring (bantams will set on normal-sized, heavy breed eggs, too), so a couple of broody bantams would be helpful.  I took three of them.

Here they are (again - you've seen them before).  I call them The Triplets of Belleville.  (FANTASTIC soundtrack!)

They go everywhere together.  It's really quite funny.

There's only one problem.  These broody girls?
Ummm, yeah, they're roosters.  Alllll three of 'em.


Speaking of butchering time (oh, I wasn't?), I know this next shot will look a little grotesque to some of you, but, for Maisy, fresh chicken blood is pure heaven!  I was heading out the door two weeks ago Thursday, when I noticed a black hen in the chicken yard who didn't look so good.  Closer inspection told me that she was sick, and I could see that the others were starting to pick on her . . . literally.  Trying to nurse a chicken back from an invisible illness that you can't diagnose is nearly impossible.  And, rather than prolong her misery (and for what?), I took her to the chopping block.  

As I said, I was all set to leave when this happened, but thank goodness I was wearing my work mukluks instead of my good ones . . . because after I'd put her out of her misery (and was holding her body down during those last, gruesome death throes) I looked down to see blood spurting against my boot.  Niiiiiiice.  At least I didn't get any on my pants, miracle of miracles!

And, finally, a shot of my White Trash refrigerator / pickup from last Friday.  I leave the snow that accumulates in the back of the truck purposefully:  I need it as weight for plowing.  But, here you can see that it serves double duty.  I'd gone to the dairy farm to pick up supplies.  Who needs to worry about a cooler in the wintertime?


  1. Oh I love it! I didn't know there was White Trash outside of Virginia heehee, I am pleased to know that it is alive and well in the Great White North! The chopping block pic actually made me smile, which may be weird, but only because we were just talking the other night about our first venture into chickens, and who would be doing this. We settled on hubby, but I want to learn, so I am de-sensitizing myself slowly. See, they are illegal here, even though we are across the road from an agricultural area, we are not zoned, but have a half acre and not many houses here. We will be venturing into the world of backyard chickens with about 3-4 hens for eggs, but if the city comes a-callin' we need to be able to dispatch them and stew them - not to mention I want to get as much experience as possible before our actual move in a few years so our learning curve won't be as steep then. And, as hubby pointed out, the entire first year for him will probably consist of securing and chopping firewood, so the chickens will be all me. It's hard to get real world advice from people who keep chickens only as pets!! And mukluks? Ooooh I can't wait to live somewhere that will justify that purchase, I love 'em! Stay strong, the "talking" stuff will definitely wear on you, sometimes emotional upheaval can wrack on you physically as well.

  2. That crazy Maisy! At first glance at the picture, I thought she had her tongue stuck on the ax head . . . you know, the old tongue-on-the-pump-handle trick. Then I wanted to tell her to stop because she was gonna get a sliver in her tongue licking away at the wood. Never a dull moment on the homestead.

    Erin, hearing your yearning for mukluks . . . when we lived in Illinois, NOBODY dressed for the bone-chilling, damp winters and I couldn't wait to move to Minnesota so I could go clomping around all winter in insulated boots and clothes, be warm and not look like such a fashion-disaster outcast. I wanted to live somewhere that I could wear leather lace-up boots with my jeans and not draw comments like "aw, your mudder wears army boots!" Yay, for the north woods of Minnie-soda!

  3. Erin, I've had a few people tell me that they stopped reading when I posted a 'from chicken coop to stew pot' summary with pictures. One of my dear girlfriends, who is NO dummy & feeds her family VERY healthfully, said that she prefers to pretend that chicken has always been in a clean, plastic package in the cooler section of the grocery store, thank you very much! (But she kept reading.)

    Then there was the time when I posted the picture of a half-eaten moose . . . .

    Oh, well, I'm just KEEPIN' IT REAL! ;)

    And, Mom, even tho you CAN justify clomping around in heavy clothes now, you STILL always get gussied up whenever you leave the house! Me? I'm not shy to wear my orange, stained & torn barn jacket to get the mail, and I've been known to wear knee high mud boots all over town for a day of errands!

    (Thanks for the comments, Erin, I LOVE 'em!)

  4. So cool that after spending the morning finding a new farm to get our free range chickens and eggs that I would turn here and find you talking about that very thing!

    In my job, I often mediate the "big talk" for couples, so I know how exhausting it can be in every way. Be kind to yourself-nap when you can! Life is hard sometimes and in this season, don't you feel one bit guilty about taking the easy where you can find it!

  5. Thanks for that support, Becky. :) I do appreciate it!

    I tell ya, living remotely like I do would be 100% different if I didn't have my girlfriends & blogfriends available at the push of a (computer's e-mail) button!

  6. Love the White Trash Fridge - most resourceful.

    All this talk of chickens and butchering brings back great farm memories.

    I love the looks I get when I stop at the grocery store in my riding breeches and boots on my way back from the barn.

    I miss my armpits and moving quickly though ;)


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